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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

MPs on the list for PMQs

Order paper list, for Questions to the Prime Minister. David Cameron, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn will have his usual six questions and Third party leader Angus Robertson will have his usual two questions. a minor party leader will also get a question.

Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire) If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 4 November?
Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) 
Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr David Anderson (Blaydon) 
Dr James Davies (Vale of Clwyd) 
Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe) 
Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South) 
Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)
Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) 
John Nicolson (East Dunbartonshire) 
Paul Flynn (Newport West)
Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton)

'Bobbers' will be called at the Speaker's discretion

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

List for PMQs

List of questioners for Prime Minister's Questions, Michael Fabricant's question is a rare 'closed question'.

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 28 October? 
- Leader of the Opposition: Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) 
David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale) 
- Leader of the Third Party: Angus Robertson (Moray)
Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West)
Mark Pawsey (Rugby)
Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)
Stephen Phillips (Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)
Graham Evans (Weaver Vale)
Amanda Solloway (Derby North)
Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)
Ian C. Lucas (Wrexham)
Mark Durkan (Foyle) 
Mr Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)
 If he will have discussions with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Communities and Local Government to determine the progress of the Midlands Engine initiative and the proposed West Midlands Combined Authority?
Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

"Bobbers" including the Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron will be called at the Speaker's discretion.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Find out who's on the list for PMQs

List of MPs guaranteed a question to Prime Minister, David Cameron, this afternoon. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will follow David Burrows, the SNP's Angus Robertson will follow a Conservative backbencher following the Leader of the Opposition.
  • Susan Elan Jones - Clwyd South: If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 21 October?
  • Mr David Burrowes - Enfield, Southgate
  • Jo Stevens - Cardiff Central
  • Anne McLaughlin - Glasgow North East
  • Andrea Jenkyns - Morley and Outwood
  • Mr David Jones - Clwyd West
  • Ian Mearns - Gateshead
  • Martyn Day - Linlithgow and East Falkirk
  • Patricia Gibson - North Ayrshire and Arran
  • Julie Elliott - Sunderland Central
  • Anna Turley - Redcar
  • Neil Carmichael - Stroud
  • Iain Stewart - Milton Keynes South
  • Andrew Rosindell - Romford
  • Nic Dakin - Scunthorpe

'Bobbers' will be called at Speaker Bercow's discretion 

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Tory plans are 'austerity of choice, not necessity'

Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru MPs have confirmed they will this vote against the Conservative Government's Charter for Budget Responsibility. Plaid's Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards has labelled the Charter as a battering ram to justify the Conservatives' ideological obsession with shrinking the state but warned Labour MPs against abstaining rather than opposing the Charter. Saying that any Labour MP intending to abstain on this Charter "will only further highlight the chaos and disunity within their party, and betray their most vulnerable constituents set to be hit by these reckless and heartless economic plans."

SNP say their 55 MPs have been consistently opposed to these plans and the party also confirm that all SNP MPs will vote against George Osborne’s "unnecessary ideologically driven cuts to public spending that will hit families and communities." There does remain confusion over whether all Labour MPs will oppose Tory austerity. Attacking the Labour leadership, Jonathan Edwards said: "I was baffled that the new Labour Leadership having been elected on an anti-austerity ticket had fallen in line behind the Tories at the first hurdle."

Commenting Stewart Hosie SNP Deputy Leader and Economy spokesperson said: "No-one could have been in any doubt about the intention of this Government when the Charter for Budget Responsibility Summer Update was published. It was to target a surplus by 2019/20 and continue to run a surplus thereafter. It was to prevent investment in infrastructure projects and it was to make ordinary people in the real world pay the price of these ideological choices. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has confirmed that the austerity policies which will drive the surplus put a disproportionate burden on the most disadvantaged families.

"Cutting £40 billion more than is necessary to run a balanced current budget – all of it paid for by punishing the poorest and stripping the capital budget by another £5 billion. This is austerity of choice not of necessity. It is right wing Tory ideology and it is wrong." Mr Hosie added.

Also speaking ahead of the debate, Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards "The Charter has been labelled economically illiterate by most serious economists as it forces the Treasury to base fiscal policy on achieving an overall surplus as the over-riding aim. This would mean the Treasury having to legally achieve a surplus each year resulting in ad hoc decisions to increase taxes or reduce spending. An annual surplus has been achieved less than twenty times in the last sixty years."

"Such a reckless approach to fiscal policy increases the risk of economic recession. Instead of a fiscal straight jacket, the Treasury should have as much flexibility as possible to respond to changing global events." Mr Edwards added.

Greens want 50% women candidates at 2016 elections

Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack has said her party will aim for women to make up at least 50 per cent of its candidates at next year’s London Assembly, Welsh Assembly and local council elections. Her comments came in response to Sex and Power, a report from the ‘Counting Women In’ coalition that showed 37 per cent of Green Party candidates at this year’s general election were women – more than any other political party.

Sarah Cope, a Green Party member who launched a legal challenge in August against a ban on MPs job-sharing, added that the disproportionate impact of government cuts on women means that “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”.

Commenting Amelia Womack said: "I am immensely proud that the Green Party had more women candidates at the general election than any other party, and that we have always had women in leadership positions, but it is clear that even we have further to go to ensure women are represented. At next year's London, Welsh and local elections we will encourage more women to stand, with the aim of them making up at least 50 per cent of our candidates.

"I would urge other parties to make concerted efforts to achieve the same. As things stand the concerns of women, who are often hardest hit by government spending cuts, are too easily brushed aside by the men in power." Ms Womack added.

Also commenting Sarah Cope said: "This report serves as a timely reminder of how far we have to go in the UK in terms of equal representation within parliament. The Green Party believe that job-sharing is one of the ways in which standing for parliament would be made easier for women. Equal representation is an issue that matters for a number of reasons. Over two thirds of government cuts have, to date, come from women's pockets. Clearly, if you're not at the table you're on the menu."

The Green Party’s Leader (Natalie Bennett), both of its parliamentarians (Caroline Lucas MP and Baroness Jenny Jones), two of its three MEPs (Molly Scott-Cato & Jean Lambert) and one of its two deputy leaders (Amelia Womack) are women.

List for PMQs

List of backbenchers guaranteed a question to the Prime Minister, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will have 6 questions, SNP group leader Angus Robertson will have 2 questions:

  • Dr Lisa Cameron - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow: If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 14 October?
  • Callum McCaig - Aberdeen South
  • Karl McCartney - Lincoln
  • Kit Malthouse - North West Hampshire
  • Nigel Huddleston - Mid Worcestershire
  • Tom Pursglove - Corby
  • Victoria Prentis - Banbury
  • Holly Lynch - Halifax
  • Kevin Brennan - Cardiff West
  • Mr Jim Cunningham - Coventry South
  • Cat Smith - Lancaster and Fleetwood
  • Andrew Griffiths - Burton
  • Mrs Cheryl Gillan - Chesham and Amersham
  • Liz McInnes - Heywood and Middleton
  • Marion Fellows - Motherwell and Wishaw

"Bobbers" will also be called at the Speakers discretion

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Crisis in teacher supply as 50,000 quit last year

New analysis by the Labour party reveals crisis in teacher supply under the Tories: Almost 50,000 teachers quit in the last year – the highest number since records began. Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Lucy Powell MP, today, warns of a growing teacher supply crisis, after new analysis by the Labour Party shows that schools are facing chronic shortages of teachers she says this is because of a combination of the Tories’ botched handling of recruitment, lack of forward planning, and doing down the profession. The system risks losing highly mobile, qualified graduates to other professions, particularly in subjects that are key to boosting our country’s competitiveness, such as maths and Computer Science.

These new figures show:
  • Rising numbers – almost 50,000 – of teachers quit this year, the highest figures since records began. This year more teachers quit than actually entered the profession.
  • Applications to teach are also falling – down by 21,000 compared to this time last year. Applications are dropping in every region across the country and are down in key subjects such as English, maths and ICT.
  • Official figures reveal that the country will need nearly 160,000 additional teachers over the next three years, yet on current trends there could be a shortfall of 65,000 applicants over this period.
  • On top of this, pupil numbers continue to grow – with a projected 582,000 more primary and secondary-age pupils by 2020 – requiring thousands more teachers just to maintain class sizes at their current level.

In order to fill vacancies, the Tories are increasingly hiring from overseas. The Government have been forced to launch an international recruitment programme to attract teachers from abroad. At the same time more teachers left our country last year to teach in English international schools than qualified to become a teacher through the university PGCE route.

Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell MP, said: "For years, this Government chose to ignore the growing problem with teacher supply, continuing instead to botch recruitment and do down the profession at every opportunity. As a result schools are now struggling against falling applications and the highest number of teachers quitting the profession on record. The Tories’ failure to take this problem seriously is threatening standards in our schools and damaging the education of our children – it cannot go on any longer. Last week David Cameron claimed to care about social mobility – nothing is more important to raising standards, aspirations and social mobility than having excellent teachers in our schools."

Responding to the Labour analysis a Conservative Party spokesperson accused Lucy Powell of resorting to "scaremongering with misleading statistics", claiming the number of teachers is at "an all-time high. Adding "far from the picture painted by the Labour Party, teaching remains a hugely popular profession with 3% more people due to start postgraduate teacher training than this time last year," the spokesperson said. The latest figures show the number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has continued to rise year after year. As a result there are now 13,100 more full-time equivalent teachers than in 2010."